Monday, February 11, 2019

The Lighthouse Diary 2019 #14: Don's Tree

The Beacon Academy had its 4th annual school fair last Saturday, February 9, 2019. Congratulations to the Beacon Academy Student Council, the Fair Committee, my co-teachers who moderated the clubs and mentored students, the Operations Team, the School Life Team and the School Leadership who gave their support in making this year's fair another successful event. There were booths, a variety of food, merchandise on display, a talent showcase and a Battle of the Bands.

In previous years, I have volunteered to man booths and assist students in the showcase. There was even one school fair when Nico and I performed with a colleague. We sang a duet of Joey Albert's hit songs in the 80s. Nico was so nice to accompany us in the guitar.

This year, I chose to enjoy myself.

I watched Zoe perform with the Dance Club and sing with Wednesday Firsts, one of the many school bands in the Academy. There are less than 150 students, but around three to four bands exist. There is also a faculty and staff band who performs during special events and occasions like Christmas and Buwan ng Wika. This goes to show how much we love music. It's that, or work can be really stressful we needed an outlet. Either way, it only goes to show that we can chill. And I did just that last Saturday. It is the most relaxing fair I had in my nine years of work in the Academy.

Chillin' at the Beacon Academy Fair
Spreading a mat under Don Salubaybay's tree, I sat, sprawled and lay down to my heart's content. People were doing the same thing all around. Some were eating at the food boths. Others busy buying merch, plants, zines, etc. In what school fair can you sit under a tree, named after a dearly departed colleague and not be called out? It is these little things I cherish these days. Yes, these are signs of growing old. But to me, I call it pacing. Taking my time. Resting.

While under Don's tree, I couldn't help but remember our beloved art teacher who died of aneurysm three, four years ago. He was a dedicated cultural worker, passionate artist, loving father and husband. I lost a friend that year. We would talk about different aspects of art; Indonesia since we have been there for different reasons. Him for his art. Me for my work as school librarian. We both love the coffee and the chocolates in Bali. His art has appeared in a children's book and he donated a copy in the library. One of our precious titles. He is a storyteller too. He uses paper, light and darkness. Shadow Play. I once asked him if we could do a book project together and right away, he said yes. Sadly, he left us all too soon. We planted the tree in memoriam to Don.

Then it occurred to me, while lying on that mat under Don's tree, the many things and the people I have lost while working in the Academy. A lot of things have happened in nine years. What have I lost? What have I gained? What have I given back? What am I learning in the process? Why did I stay? Why am I staying? There are so many answers. So many things that cram in my head that needs unpacking. There are memories that surfaced, not all pleasant but filled with learning experiences all the same.

Oh boy...

Don't be surprised if in the next entries of The Lighthouse Diary, you will read about my reflections of nine years working in the Academy. I feel excited about this little project. I have a good feeling about this. My gut tells me so.

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